Bottom of the ninth: Rusk Yankees win Boys 14U state championship; Rusk Threat places 3rd in Girls 15U

by By Josie Fox

Tommy Lasorda once said, “The saddest day of the year is the day baseball season ends.”

As July begins to fade into August, and summer vacation draws to a close, many area little league players wrapped up their ball season as others advanced to play in state championship tournaments.

Several local teams, from Alto to Troup, competed for state championship titles in their divisions during weeklong tournament play during the last several weeks.

Yankees win state title in

Boys 14U Division

The Rusk Yankees were one of 11 teams that converged on Axtel for week long tournament play Monday, July 16.

The Yankees played hard, ending their tournament play with an undefeated record, bringing home a state championship title.

The Yankees defeated the Blooming Grove Lions during round one play, McGregor Bulldogs during round two and secured another win in round three against Westphalia Pond Creek Riverdogs.

Their winning streak didn’t end there as they went on to secure the win during round four of play against the Belton Red Sox team, advancing them to the next round of play against Chandler Longhorns.

In the final round of play the Yankees ended their season with a win against the Longhorns.

Girls 15U Division

Girls 15U Division softball champion tournament games were held in Rusk the week of July 9-13.

Two teams from Rusk were among the 16 gunning for the state title.

Rusk Velocity fell out of the running after losing to the Edgewood Thunder Chickens day one of the tournament and a second loss to Troup Shockwave the second day of game play.

Rusk Threat placed third overall, finishing the tournament with a 5-2 record. Threat defeated Moody United and Belton Aggies in the first two rounds of play and suffered their first loss to Edgwood in round three. Threat went on to defeat Troup Shockwave in round four of play and Belton again in round five before losing to Lovelady Lion Drive on Friday morning (July 13).

Lovelady and Edgewood advanced to the final round of play on Friday night with Edgewood taking home the state championship title and a 6-0 tournament record.

Girls 10U Division

Troup Shockwave and Alto Lady Jackets were among the 24 teams competing for the state championship title during week long game play held in Temple from July 9-13.

The Lady Jackets won during the first round of game play, defeating Palmer Elite, but fell to the Cameron Barbie Bashers during round two.

They would go on to win their next three rounds of game play, defeating the Buffalo Lady Bisons, Denison Glitter Hitters and Grand Saline Revolution. The Lady Jacket’s season would come to an end during their sixth round of game play when they lost to the Groesbeck Steelers.

Troup Shockwave earned a third place ranking after fighting through seven rounds of game play.

Shockwave came out fighting and secured wins during their first three games, defeating Valley Mills Eagles, Hamilton Lady Bulldogs and Axtell Extreme Heat.

They suffered their first loss during the fourth round of play against the Cameron Barbie Bashers.

Shockwave went on to defeat Groesbeck Steelers and Belton Outkasts during rounds five and six of tournament play, facing off against the Barbie Bashers one last time during round seven.

The Barbie Bashers defeated Shockwave once again during the seventh round of play and they would finish in second place with Belton Bomb Squad taking home the state championship title.

Girls 6U T-Ball Division

The Girls 6U T-Ball Division had 21 teams vying for the championship title during game play held in Emory.

The Rusk Sassy Sluggers and Rusk Rumble Ponies were among the 21 teams swinging bats and fighting for a spot in the final game.

The Rumble Ponies fell to Alba Golden Crush during first round of game play and then suffered a defeat against Bosqueville Dash, ending their run for the championship title during round two of play.

The Sassy Sluggers started off strong with wins against Edgewood Pink Sox and the Edgewood Sassy Sluggers during the first two rounds of play.

Their first loss came at the hands of the Groesbeck Diamond Divas during round three of game play. The Sassy Sluggers went on to play the Bosqueville Dash during their fourth round of play, but were defeated, ending their season.

The Belton Knockouts would take home the state championship title with Alba Golden Crush ending in second place and Rogers Diamond Divas in third.

Girls 8U Coach Pitch Division

Twenty three teams traveled to Groesback all hoping to bring the state championship title back home. Of those 23 teams, two local teams from Troup and Alto were trying to make their mark.

Troup Thunder advanced through three rounds of play before suffering their second tournament loss and ending their season. Thunder lost in the first round to Rogers Ragdolls but went on to win their second round of play against the Stephenville Rangers.

Their second loss was to the Bosqueville Lady Lions, who were knocked out of tournament play in the following round after suffering a loss to Axtell Harrison.

The Alto Heartbreakers suffered losses in their first two rounds of play ending their season. Their first loss was to Salado Shock, who would go on to claim the state championship title with a 8-1 tournament play record.

The Heartbreakers fell in round two play to the Corsican Red Dirt Divas who only advanced one additional round of play before falling to the Bosqueville Crush.

Girls 12U Division

Two local teams were among the 20 that traveled to Denision the week of July 9-13 to compete for the Girls 12U state championship title.

The Jacksonville Hard Hitters season ended after two consecutive losses during tournament play.

The first loss came at the hands of the Milano Wolf Pack on Monday, July 9 with the Hard Hitters advancing to round two to play against Mart Willis.

Unfortunately the Hard Hitters fell to Mart Willis who would only advance one more round before being knocked out of tournament play by the Alto Lady Jackets.

The Lady Jackets started the tournament off with a loss against the Rogers Hot Shots before beating Mart Willis in round two and gaining an advance to round three play.

In round three the Lady Jackets lost to Copperas Cove Sluggers who would go on to play three more games before falling to the team that would take home the championship title, the Bosequeville Heartbreaks.

Boys 6U T-Ball Division

The Rusk Astros traveled to Riesel, along with 17 other teams to fight for the state championship title in the Boys 6U T-Ball Division.

The Astros lost their first round game against Axtell Pierce but went on to beat the Temple Grasshoppers in round two.
Round three marked the second loss for the Astros, knocking them out of the tournament and allowing the Belton Longhorns to advance. The Longhorns would go on to finish third in the tournament with Chandler Lumberjacks taking home the state title and Axtell Pierce earning a second place spot.

Boys 10U Tight Base Division

Jacksonville hosted 14 teams the week of July 16-20, three of which were local teams from Jacksonville and Alto.

The Jacksonville Indians did not survive past round two of play suffering losses to the Hillsboro Blackhawks and the Jacksonville Bears.

The Bears suffered a loss in the first round of play to the Leon Cougars, but earned a spot in round three of play after defeating the Indians in round two.

The Bears suffered their second loss of the tournament to the Gatesville Stanley Chevrolet team and thus ended their season.

The Alto Colt 45’s also saw an end to their season after consecutive losses in the first two rounds of tournament play. The Colt 45’s lost in round one to the Emory Sharks and round two to the Mildred Eagles.

The Axtell Outlaws would go on to win the state championship title for the 10U Tight Base Division as an undefeated team.

Boys 12U Open Base Division

The Boys 12U Open Base Division had 12 teams travel to Chandler with dreams of earning the top spot by the end of tournament play.

The Rusk Nationals were among the teams vying for the championship spot.

Unfortunately the Nationals were unable to advance past round two of play after suffering losses to the McGregor Horned Frogs and Belton Astros.

The Chandler Warriors took home an undefeated state championship title at the end of the tournament.